Marcus will be along shortly with a recap of the Colts' win over the Browns, but I'm currently in Twitter jail and thought I'd pen my quick thoughts on the game.
No fluff, just notes.
- Caesar Rayford: Wow. He continued his impressive preseason tonight with two more sacks (and a forced fumble) along with one other that was offset by a defensive holding penalty. Rayford showed more athleticism tonight with quick edge rushing, fighting through the block and getting to the quarterback. As I said earlier this week, you don't see a lot of defined pass rushing moves, but he's got great strength and his reach is a huge asset that has netted him at least three of his five sacks during this preseason.
- Brandon Weeden is not good. Neither are the Browns' receivers. That being said, the Colts' starting secondary looked very good in their first action together. In the process, they made the pass rush look better than it really was. In reality, Weeden had a lot of time to throw for most of the night, but solid coverage made him hold the ball longer than he should have been.
- Another solid game from Andrew Luck. I'm not going to look up the official stats, because they really don't matter, but he was accurate and made good decisions. His interception was a dropped pass from Stanley Havili. Overall, the Colts had little trouble moving the ball, especially through the air. The Luck/Wayne connection was especially on-point.
- Hugh Thornton looked good in his debut. He was solid in pass protection, save one play that was a quick throw anyway, and looked good in run blocking, especially on one particular play in which he pulled to the left side and threw down a linebacker. I'll go back and look more closely at him this week, but overall it was a very good debut for the rookie right guard. Now if he can save us from the abomination that is Mike McGlynn….
- Griff Whalen showed up with a few catches tonight at varying depths on the field. He's a possession receiver, but still is a notch above the rest of the Colts' depth receivers.
- Donald Brown ran very well behind a fullback with the first-team offense. I've said it before (namely after 2011 when he had a career year), but Brown excels behind a fullback, and should do well in Hamilton's offense if he gets touches.
- Along with Caesar Rayford, Mario Harvey was getting into the backfield on just about every blitz he came on, including blowing up consecutive third and fourth down plays in the third quarters to stop a Browns drive.
- The offense looked a little FB-heavy tonight, and the offensive line was very questionable, but with two starters out (McGlynn and Castonzo, who left early with a knee injury) and the tight ends also missing starters (Allen and Fleener both out), that should be different in the regular season. Well, the OL is still a concern, but starters being out didn't help. Castonzo's injury didn't look serious, but keep your fingers crossed. He's the best lineman on the team (especially after Gosder Cherilus got abused by Paul Kruger tonight).